Minister with Responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, announced on February 28 that the National Sports Policy will be tabled in Parliament in another two weeks.
This follows a presentation on the White Paper, and discussions with local sport associations and federations at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
Speaking at the forum, Minister Neita Headley named the members of the re-established National Sports Council, noting that they are to meet shortly.
The advisory body will promote the actions that are to be taken to further develop sports in Jamaica.
“It will advise the Prime Minister and the Minister, as it seeks to harmonize the sporting industry,” she indicated.
Members of the Council include: President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mike Fennell; Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse; First Vice-President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Don Anderson; President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr. Warren Blake; President of Jamaica Paralympic Association, Christopher Samuda; and Fourth Vice-President of the JAAA, Dr. Winston Dawes.
Also on the Council are: Education Officer for Physical Education and Sport at the Ministry of Education, Dr. Joyce Graham Royale; Inspector General of the Jamaica Defence Force, with responsibility for ceremonial activities, Colonel Daniel Pryce; Principal of GC Foster College, Edward Shakes; Former Jamaica Basketball Association President, Marlon Natty; Director in the Entertainment, Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Tafari Burns; and Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti Doping Commission (JADCO), Renée Anne Shirley.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Neita Headley urged the associations to examine their current status, and preparations to participate in the various sports in the 2016 Olympics.
“If you’re able to identify those areas, those athletes who will form part of that vision, we need to concentrate and focus on how we will help you to prepare those athletes to meet qualifying standards for 2016,” she said.
The Minister said the National Sport Policy will guide the framework for overall national sports development; promote a healthier society; and strengthen appropriate regulations and legislation that support and facilitate sporting initiatives and activities that will result in increased participation among all Jamaicans
“The policy is a framework of what will be ideal for us…it does not state how sports will be run, and does not seek to indicate to you how we will operate. That will have to come from a sports sector implementation plan, which will follow the approval of the policy,” she told stakeholders
Mrs. Neita Headley noted the various actions that are already being taken towards the overall development of sports through inter-ministerial collaboration, and public/private partnerships.
Among these activities is the establishment of a Sports Tourism Committee, to leverage brand Jamaica. She noted that concrete steps are also being taken to establish a sports museum, and that discussions have also begun with the London Mission to establish a sports museum foundation, which would allow members of the Diaspora to make meaningful contributions to the museum.
As for the hosting of international events, the Minister said guidelines are being developed to ensure the best quality events that meet international standards.